Paige Wartko, PhD, MPH


"I collaborate with other scientists to answer real-world questions that have the power to improve care in medication use, behavioral health, and pregnancy."

Paige Wartko, PhD, MPH

Senior Collaborative Scientist, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute


Paige Wartko, PhD, MPH, first became interested in public health through her passion for women’s health. Her expertise has since broadened to include medication safety, behavioral health, and mental health. She currently works on a study of medication safety for pregnant women with chronic conditions including depression, anxiety, and hypertension, and two pragmatic trials related to opioid use: One focuses on helping patients who take high doses of opioids manage their chronic pain and lower their opioid dose. Another focuses on treating patients with opioid use disorder with medication in the primary care setting.

Dr. Wartko has been collaborating with Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI) since 2016, when she began working with Dr. Sascha Dublin as a PhD student at the University of Washington Department of Epidemiology. Dr. Wartko’s doctoral research focused on risk of maternal and infant outcomes during pregnancy such as gestational diabetes, maternal gestational weight gain, and infant birthweight that were associated with antidepressant medication use in pregnancy. As a PhD student, she was involved in two additional projects at KPWHRI—the assessment of Kaiser Permanente Washington’s change to a one-step approach to identifying gestational diabetes and the prevalence and frequency of cannabis use during pregnancy.

In addition to her PhD, Dr. Wartko also earned a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree at the University of Washington Department of Epidemiology. Her research assessed the association of developing endometrial cancer and history of gestational diabetes while pregnant. She completed her master’s practicum at Public Health–Seattle & King County, assessing disparities in incidence of low birth weight by maternal birthplace within racial and ethnic groups—work that she presented to community stakeholders. Before starting her MPH work, Dr. Wartko completed a summer internship at the National Cancer Institute, studying trends in endometrial cancer incidence.


  • Medication Use & Patient Safety

    Effectiveness of health system interventions for patients using high-dose opioids; medication safety during pregnancy

  • Mental Health

    Maternal mental health around the time of pregnancy; substance use and addiction including opioids and cannabis

  • Health Services & Economics

    Effectiveness of health system interventions for patients with opioid use disorder

  • Addictions

    Prevention and treatment

  • Women's Health

    Pregnancy; reproductive cancers


Recent Publications

Wartko PD, Weiss NS, Enquobahrie DA, Chan KCG, Stephenson-Famy A, Mueller BA, Dublin S. Association of antidepressant continuation in pregnancy and infant birthweight. J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2021 May 22. doi: 10.1097/JCP.0000000000001410. Online ahead of print. PubMed

Campbell CI, Saxon AJ, Boudreau DM, Wartko PD, Bobb JF, Lee AK, Matthews AG, McCormack J, Liu DS, Addis M, Altschuler A, Samet JH, LaBelle CT, Arnsten J, Caldeiro RM, Borst DT, Stotts AL, Braciszewski JM, Szapocznik J, Bart G, Schwartz RP, McNeely J, Liebschutz JM, Tsui JI, Merrill JO, Glass JE, Lapham GT, Murphy SM, Weinstein ZM, Yarborough BJH, Bradley KA. PRimary Care Opioid Use Disorders treatment (PROUD) trial protocol: a pragmatic, cluster-randomized implementation trial in primary care for opioid use disorder treatment.  Addict Sci Clin Pract. 2021;16(1):9. doi: 10.1186/s13722-021-00218-w.  PubMed

Wartko PD, Weiss NS, Enquobahrie DA, Chan KCG, Stephenson-Famy A, Mueller BA, Dublin S. Maternal gestational weight gain in relation to antidepressant continuation in pregnancy. Am J Perinatol. 2020 Jun 30. doi: 10.1055/s-0040-1713652. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Wartko PD, Weiss NS, Enquobahrie DA, Chan KCG, Stephenson-Famy A, Mueller BA, Dublin S. Antidepressant continuation in pregnancy and risk of gestational diabetes. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2019 Jul 12. doi: 10.1002/pds.4799. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Pocobelli G, Yu O, Fuller S, Fraser JR, Wartko P, Chen L, Newton K, Dimer J, McCulloch D, Warwick S, Dublin S. One-step approach to identifying gestational diabetes mellitus: association with perinatal outcomes. Obstet Gynecol. 2018 Aug 17. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000002780. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed




Increasing opioid use disorder treatment in primary care

A trial led by KPWHRI researchers found that adding nurse care managers helped more people get needed treatment.

Research roundup


What's new in cannabis use research?

Use in pregnancy and screening in primary care studied by KPWHRI’s Kiel, Matson, and Lapham.



Medication in pregnancy: Better data for healthier kids

Researchers need much bigger data sets to find outcomes that matter, Dr. Sascha Dublin and colleagues write in Pediatrics.

KPWHRI In the Media

Maternal and child health

Increased risk of gestational diabetes seen with some antidepressants

Reuters, Oct 3, 2019